How to Optimize Health Care Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems

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Health care professionals need to be on top of technology when it comes to looking for a job in a health care career. In today's job market that means, ensuring that your resume is optimized for applicant tracking systems (ATS). Many health care employers and organizations have a software application system specifically designed to read resumes for job openings.

The purpose of ATS for a health care career

The ATS allows recruiters to easily and efficiently sort through the hundreds of resumes medical facilities and hospitals receive when positions for dental assistants and other healthcare professionals are open. In addition to allowing recruiters to quickly sort through resumes, ATS helps recruiters keep track of incoming resumes through the application and interview process. Its software stores the data in resumes and gives the recruiter the ability to search through the resumes according to skill set, education, experience, and certifications. An intelligent system that ranks resumes based on searched criteria, think of it as a search engine like Google. Specifically, the software is searching for certain keywords that relate to your experience and credentials that would fit quality health care professionals. If you don't have the right keywords, you're resume just might be bypassed even if you're a perfect fit for the job. And not just the ones that are included in the job description and posting, think outside the box too!

Tailoring cover letters and resumes for ATS

Since it's the ATS which first determines if you're a good candidate for the position, it's smart to optimize your resume so the ATS can accurately identify you as a good candidate. Here are some guidelines on how to optimize your resume for an ATS: Don't send your resume in a GIF, TIFF or JPEG file and don't send it as a zip file. Instead, create and send your resume in an MS Word document. Avoid using headers, footers, fancy fonts, charts, graphs, and special spacing. Keep the layout and other details very simple. When listing your work history, list each employer from current to last first. List each in this fashion:
  • Name of employer
  • Job title
  • Start and end dates
  • Description of accomplishments on the job
When writing up your resume, add keywords and phrases from the actual job posting in your resume that are relevant to your educational and work history. This is critical, as your resume will be ranked by the ATS by how well it matches the words used in the job listing. Add these keywords in a natural manner when you are describing your experience and job accomplishments. And don't copy and paste your resume; be sure to upload it into the field for the ATS. Being mindful of ATS and tailoring your healthcare resume the right way will greatly enhance your chances of the ATS poising you as a good candidate for the job position.
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